Islanders Write Is Moving

Rosemary Stimola, Dawn Davis, Jamie Raab, and Tony Horwitz at a 2015 Islanders Write panel.

The first nugget of good news is Islanders Write is moving to Featherstone Center for the Arts, where there is air conditioning. Over the past five years the writers’ festival, put on by The MV Times and this magazine, has gained a reputation for bringing together a fascinating roster of writers, publishers, editors, and agents, who talk insightfully about their craft and business to the whir of spinning fans during what have become increasingly sultry (admittedly sultry is a euphemistic word to express the near-suffocating heat we endured last summer) Mondays in August. 

So we’re moving — to the spacious and comfortable campus at Featherstone Center for the Arts, where there is glorious air conditioning. But that’s not all: There are rooms for workshops and breakout sessions, and this summer lslanders Write will be offering more workshops than ever before, as well as an open mic, one-on-one critique sessions, author signings, and a full day of panel discussions on topics such as writing about food, writing about science, and writing about sex.


The second nugget of good news is that we are delighted to announce that David McCullough will be returning to Islanders Write as our kickoff speaker on Sunday evening, August 11. McCullough, whose new book The Pioneers was published in May and is a New York Times bestseller, will be interviewed by Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz, who will also be speaking about his late father Tony Horwitz’s work in his book Spying on the South, also published in May and a New York Times bestseller. 


The third nugget is that Monday’s panel discussions will include a discussion about getting your book optioned for film or TV; veteran political journalists and columnists will discuss campaign coverage; we will have a panel about the path to publication; and our fabulous pitch panel will be returning. 


Another nugget. This year’s speakers will also include Suzan Bellincampi, Elizabeth Benedict, Dawn Braasch, Geraldine Brooks, Bliss Broyard, Ronnie Citron-Fink, Dawn Davis, Sam Fleming, Nicole Galland, Jessica B. Harris, John Hough Jr., Melinda Henneberger, Susan Klein, Tina Miller, Torrey Oberfest, Victoria Riskin, Walter Shapiro, Tatiana Schlossberg, Rosemary Stimola, Jean Stone, Alexandra Styron, Susan Wilson, Gretchen Young, and more to come. Workshops will be facilitated by Justen Ahren, Bella Morais, Mathea Morais, and Judith Hannan. Niki Patton will be running the open mic. Scottish Bakehouse will be onsite with food, and the early birds can get a cup of Chilmark Coffee. 

I mention these nuggets of good news because we have been struggling with making sense of Tony Horwitz’s passing. Tony, who died while on book tour on May 27th, was an important part of Islanders Write since we started this festival. Each spring I’d reach out to him and we’d toss around ideas, then he’d graciously volunteer to do whatever we needed. During this sad news spring, we find ourselves moving forward one nugget at a time. 


Islanders Write begins on Sunday, August 11, at 7:30 pm, and continues throughout the day on Monday, August 12, from 8 am to 5:30 pm. All events are free and open to the public. Visit for more information.

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